This lively 69-year-old physics professor is the GOAT

The nutty professor! College physics instructor, 69, keeps his students enthralled with wacky experiments – and a video of his funny antics has been viewed over 20 MILLION times

  • David Wright, Ph.D., has taught physics and astronomy at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia for 45 years
  • He keeps class lively with experiments in which he lays on nails, uses a Pogo stick, and sets fires
  • 18-year-old sophomore Erica Church posted a video compilation of his antics this week, and its been viewed over 20 million times
  • ‘I figure if I’m not having fun teaching the course they’re not going to have any fun either,’ said Dr. Wright 

A Virginia community college professor has been delighting his physics classes with his funny experiments for 45 years — and now, thanks to a viral video, he’s delighting the internet, too.

David Wright, Ph.D., who teaches physics and astronomy at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia, likes to keep students engaged by incorporating  fun demonstrations into his classes.

This semester, an 18-year-old sophomore recorded videos on the livelier parts of his course and posted a compilation on Twitter, where Dr. Wright’s hilarious antics have been viewed over 20 million times so far.

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Educator: David Wright, Ph.D., has taught physics and astronomy at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia for 45 years


On fire! He keeps class lively with experiments, like this one in which he demonstrated convection by making a fire

Going viral: Erica Church, an 18-year-old sophomore, posted a compilation on Twitter this week, and it’s been viewed over 20 million times

Hopping around: The 69-year-old professor has even jumped on a Pogo stick at the front of the class

Erica Church posted the one-and-a-half-minute video on Twitter on December 11.

‘Y’all need to see this video collage of all the crazy things my Physics Professor did this semester,’ she wrote. ‘He’s in his 70s and is still doing all of this for us.’

In the clip, Dr. Wright — who is actually 69 — can be seen over the course of several classes dressed in button-downs and ties.

But though his clothes may say ‘regular college professor,’ his antics prove otherwise.

To demonstrate certain theories to his class, he’s laid on a bed of nails, walked on glass, and set fires.

The video shows him sitting on a skateboard atop a wooden board on wheels, allowing a student to quickly pull the wooden board — which comes out from under the skateboard, knocking Dr. Wright to the ground.

In once class, just after 10 in the morning, he used a Pogo stick in front of his students. He’s made ice cream, sprinted across the room, and pushed a ball around the room with a broom.

To demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion, he rolled a 16-pound bowling ball down the hallway.

During each of his demonstrations, his class can be heard laughing in the background. 

Over the years, the professor performed thousands of fun physics experiments, all in the name of keeping students engaged.

‘The world is a wondrous place and it’s all understandable with mathematics and physics,’ Wright, a father of four and grandfather of seven told Good Morning America. ‘I hope that’s what students take away.’

The Tidewater Community College 2017 professor of the year also said that the ‘very sharp, very engaged’ students ‘really energize me.’

‘I figure if I’m not having fun teaching the course they’re not going to have any fun either. You should be really passionate in what you’re doing and I hope I serve as an example of that,’ he added. 

He added: ‘I figure if I’m not having fun teaching the course they’re not going to have any fun either’

‘You should be really passionate in what you’re doing and I hope I serve as an example of that,’ he said

Passionate: Over the years, the professor performed thousands of fun physics experiments, all in the name of keeping students engaged

The attention he deserves: He seems to be enjoying his viral fame

Fun: Erica, who recorded the video (pictured left with her friend), said: ‘He’s made physics more practical’

Professor David Wright has been sharing his love of physics with students at Tidewater Community College since 1974. Wright became a viral sensation in just one day after a student shared a video of his passionate teaching methods — using fire, slingshots and a bed of nails — on Twitter.

Speaking to NBC Nightly News, he admitted that physics has a ‘reputation for being dull and boring,’ so it’s especially important to be enthusiastic.

Erica, meanwhile, was shocked that her video went viral, and quickly emailed the professor to let him know.

‘Everyone loves your demonstrations,’ she told him. ‘I wanted to let you know that the Twitter community and all of us from class loves you [sic]… Thank you for an amazing semester!’

‘It was an amazing semester, because I had amazing students,’ he replied. 

Erica praised her professor some more in an interview with GMA.

‘I really think that it shows that if you love what you do it’ll radiate to other people. And that learning doesn’t have to be boring and hard and if you make it more interesting then students will be more engaged and learn more,’ she said.

‘He’s made physics more practical so it means more to you than a whole bunch of words on a PowerPoint that you have to memorize for a test.’ 

Thanks! Erica was shocked that her video went viral, and quickly emailed the professor to let him know

‘It was an amazing semester, because I had amazing students,’ he replied

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